DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Vancouver-based FIRST QUANTUM MINERALS says the green light has been given for the US$553-million development of the Kolwezi copper tailings retreatment project. The project is owned 65% by First Quantum, which, with support from its contributing equity partners in the project, will finance or procure third party debt project financing totaling up to US$593 million. This will satisfy the obligations of the three equity partners to complete feasibility studies, carry out an environmental impact assessment, prepare an environmental management plan, and to obtain commitments with respect to the financing of the project.
Kolwezi will be built to treat 2.5 million tonnes of tailings per year. That would result in production of 35,000 tonnes of copper cathode and 7,000 of cobalt hydroxide annually, using solvent extraction/electrowinning technology. Construction is to be completed in Q4 2009 with start-up in the first quarter of 2010. The plant is designed so that capacity can be doubled for a relatively small price tag, US$40 million.
Visit www.First-Quantum.com for additional information about First Quantum’s other copper projects.